Boo! Spooky Autumn Activities in Baltimore

Hmmm, the smell of crisp morning air, the sounds of rustling leaves, and tastes of pumpkin-flavored everything… Nothing says fall like HALLOWEEN!

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( Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun / September 27, 2012 )

As a kid, I’ve always loved hearing tales of ghost mysteries and spine-chilling urban legends. You can imagine how I felt when I learned about the Baltimore Neighborhood Ghost Tours starting this month.

Whether you’re young or old, hate or love Halloween, there are numerous Charm City events and activities to enjoy for the spooky celebration!

So if you’d like to spare some FUN time after midterms, check out Baltimore Collegetown’s List of Spooky Events this October:

SPECIAL EVENTS

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2012 Halloween Parade & Festival
October 27 at 3:30 pm
Patterson Park
The 2012 Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival: Phantasmic Creatures of Earthly Delight celebrates imaginary beings, magical creatures, and mythological beasts inspired by Patterson Park in Baltimore. Marching bands, playing samba, gypsy music, and more, light the night. All are welcome to dress in costume, make lanterns and carry them in the Parade. www.creativealliance.org

Halloween Improv Comedy Show
October 27 at 8 pm
Strand Theater Company
You can’t get any more Halloween-y than improv comedy. Wait, that didn’t sound right. Halloweenish? Halloweensy? In any case, let the Baltimore Improv Group make your Halloween weekend more fun! www.bigimprov.org

Halloween Special Cruise
October 31
Urban Pirates
A special family cruise at 4 pm and 5:30 pm and 7 pm adult B.Y.O.G. cruises to create a spook-tacular Halloween. www.urbanpirates.com

WALKING TOURS

The Historic Federal Hill Ghost Tour
Now through November 17, Saturdays only at 6 pm and 8:30 pm
This one-hour guided tour through the ages explores the spirits of the past commune with the explorers of the present. Discover the techniques and the science behind ghost hunting while walking the old cobble stones and modern paved streets of this wonderful neighborhood filled with taverns, shops and restaurants, situated just two blocks from the Inner Harbor.  www.federalhillghosttour.ticketleap.com

The Original Fells Point Ghost Walk
Now through November at 7 pm, Fridays and Saturdays (various times in October)
Check out this award-winning tour under the cover of night to explore the many haunted pubs, shops and residences. But don’t stray too far from the group because you never know when you’ll find yourself face to face with the unknown. www.baltimoreghosttours.com

Mount Vernon Ghost Walk
October 7, Saturdays only (various times in October)
Mount Vernon, Baltimore’s cultural center may be more “spirited” than you think. Admire the architecture while guides regale you with the history and haunted lore of this striking neighborhood that was home to many of Baltimore’s leading citizens. Hear about those who have never checked out of the Belvedere, a séance gone wrong, and more than one grand dame who still oversees the activities of her home. www.baltimoreghosttours.com

NIGHTLIFE

Boo Bash Party at RA Sushi
October 31 at 7 pm
Party the night away with spooktacular food and drink specials, a costume contest, and a guest D.J. Dress up for the Boo Bash costume contest – Those dressed to kill will have the opportunity to take a bite out of some serious treats, including a $100 RA gift certificate for the first place winner and a $25 RA gift certificate for second place. https://www.facebook.com/RASushiBaltimore

Halloween Pub Crawl in Fells Point (21+)
October 31 at 8 pm
Elaborate costumes. Music. Fells Point Bars. Need we say more? www.fellspointmainstreet.org

Don’t forget to grab a pumpkin latte from your nearest coffee place while you’re enjoying these events. Well, maybe a pumpkin-flavored beer for the last one. Nevertheless, DRINK RESPONSIBLY and have a safe Halloween.

P.S. Share your photos on our Facebook page!

Samantha Lozano, Intern

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St. Patrick’s Day in Baltimore

Baltimoreans will put aside the purple for some green this weekend!

If you’re looking for St. Patrick’s Day plans Baltimore is filled with things to do. From a 5k to concerts, there will be something for everyone.Where else can you see the former mayor play traditional Irish music?  So, take advantage of the beautiful weather and start celebrating this weekend. But be sure to save some energy and green attire for the 17th!

Shamrock 5k
March 11
Charles & Franklin Street, 1 pm

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 11
Mt. Vernon Place 2 pm

Donegal’s Xpress
Mick O’Sheas, performing after parade

Shamrock Shindig
Phillips Seafood’s Dock
March 11, 12-2pm

O’Malley’s March
March 17
Creative Alliance, 7 and 9 pm

Getting ready for Artscape

This Friday kicks off Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival right here in Baltimore. The streets will be filled with sculptures, vendors, crafts, music, and so much more to keep you coming back for more.

July 15-17
Mt. Royal Ave | North Charles Street

Who’s taking the stage at Artscape, take a listen.

Baltimore Free School

Did you ever want to take a class without exams and grades? Want to take a class just to learn more about the subject? Then check this out…the Baltimore Free School is a community funded project that provides classes, for free!

Baltimore Free School Organizer Jessica Lewis.

Started by the people behind Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse and radical educators and volunteers, the Free School isn’t your typical classroom experience. From Portuguese class to yoga, there’s something for everyone. And if you want to teach a class, go right ahead!

I became familiar with the Free School after doing a project on the organizers for class. Last summer I was on the lookout for new things to try and stumbled back on the Free School website. After browsing through their summer listings I found a Magazine Journalism course taught by the Senior Editor of Baltimore Magazine, Evan Serpick.

I didn’t make it to every class, but still learned a lot about journalism and freelance writing.  We sat in a circle as we talked about story ideas and sources. The laid-back, open environment made it easy to generate discussion and brainstorm ideas with one another. Without the strict syllabus, the class was able to flow without the stress of due dates and exams.

If you’re like me and can’t stay away from the classroom over summer break, the Free School is the place to check out.

…More interesting, fun and free!

Book Thing
Free Store

Best of Summer 2010… Baltimore Style!

Summer is almost here! The weather is warm, the sun is shining bright and there is plenty to do around Baltimore! Summer is my favorite season. Not only because my birthday falls in June, but because summer draws people out of their homes and out onto the streets! Summer also just makes you feel good overall! Every summer I tend to have the same routine. Work a lot, make a few Rita’s stops here and there and maybe head down to the beach for a weekend or two. This summer, I am committed to changing my routine.

I will be trying out a new activity, restaurant or event in Baltimore each week over the course of the summer. All of these events will be unique to Baltimore in some way. I am then going to come back and report on what I have experienced. I am calling this blog series “The BEST of Summer 2010…Baltimore style!”  Please feel free to comment on my experiences and make suggestions for places I should try next!

First Stop: Mt. Vernon

I recently moved to the Park Charles apartments located at the intersection of Charles and Saratoga. So far, I have no complaints for my new location and new apartment. Southern Management has been great and I feel right at home in my new space. I have come to realize that my favorite part about my new apartment is its location! I feel as if I have the best of both worlds by sitting on the border of Mt. Vernon and the Downtown district.

I haven’t spent much time out and about in Mt. Vernon so I decided to look for something to do in the area. I heard about the Mt. Vernon First Thursday concert series sponsored by WTMD so I thought I would check it out. I head up to the Washington Monument off of Charles Street and was shocked by the amount of people who were lounging in the park.

The stage was set up on the monument side of the park and people filled the grass with their lounge chairs and blankets. Most people packed up their coolers with snacks and beverages to kick back, relax and watch the concert. Speaking of the concert Can’t Hang performed while everyone was enjoying the outdoors. Vendors were set up from the surrounding businesses. I decided to stop at the Mic O’Sheas tent where I picked up and beef sandwich and corn on the cob sprinkled with old bay, truly Baltimore style.

The best part about the evening, the concert was FREE! Minus the cost of the food I chose to buy, the whole evening would have been free. Many people save money by packing snacks instead of buying from the vendors, definitely something I will do the next first Thursday.

For my first adventure in Baltimore this summer, I was nothing but pleased with the event. Great weather, good food and some music are the perfect way to close out a week. Don’t miss the next first Thursday in Mt. Vernon. WARNING: To get a spot on the grass I advise you get their earlier than 6:00 p.m.!

Stay tuned for more Best of Summer 2010… Baltimore Style!

Until next time…

Kristen

Washington Monument!

Beef sandwhich and corn on the cob!

Can't Hang!

Delighted by Indigma

Last year when I celebrated my birthday with my Collegetown colleagues, I ventured out into Harbor East and ate at Taco Fiesta.  This year, I wanted another solid experience but in a different part of town.  I’ve really enjoyed my culinary experiences in Mt. Vernon, so I selected something in that area:  Indigma.  I was actually going to have dinne there with my friends, but I was a little hesitant since I read some mixed reviews. 

I decided to not listen to other reviews and make my own.  We ventured out on a cold Wednesday afternoon to Indigma and I must say it was worth the trip.  Indigma is locataed in the same building as Donna’s and Thairish.  For those of you who are familiar with that area, Indigma used to be known as Saffron.  I was instantly impressed with the decor of the restaurant.  The decor stayed true to the Indian culture with its rich, vibrant colors, but at the same time, infused contemporary Western influences. 

Indigma, which sounds damn cool to begin with, offers a table side lunch buffet.  You have the option of going the vegetarian route, non-veg, or combo.  While we were waiting for our buffet to arrive , we were encouraged to check out the appetzier table.  The appetizer table featured a leafy green salad, a garbanzo bean salad, pickled onion relish, a spicy coriander chutney, a sweet tamarind chutney, and papad. 

As we were slurping down the last bit of our salads, our entrees arrived.  The tableside buffet was brought out in this long rectangular plate with six adequate samplings of each the dishes they offered.  I truly got a well-rounded experience:  daal, cashew chicken, chicken masala, aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes), rice, and an eggplant curry.  Now of course, this delectable meal came with piping hot plain naan with a glaze of butter for taste. 

At first I was a little skeptical of the conept of a tableside buffet – I mean what if you don’t like the kind of things they have.  When I picture a buffet, I picture this big table with trays of food and people standing in a line waiting to get their share.  This concept is better because it allows you to really try everything, stay in your seat, and converse with whoever you’re eating with.  There was also a nice balance to the food – dry vs. curried vegetables, light vs heavy texture, and savory/spicy vs. sweet. 

I was most impressed with the chicken dishes, which I would absolutely get if I went there for dinner.  I wasn’t the only one who left with a smile on their face and their appetites fulfilled – my coworkers had a pleasant time as well.  So, if you’re in the neighborhood next time, I highly encourage you to check out this place.  Don’t listen to other reviews – I’m Indian…I know good Indian food when  I taste it!

For now, this is Ankur…

Signing off….

Lighting of the Washington Monument – a great Baltimore tradition!

Hello Baltimore!

I’m keeping up with my mission of exploring new things in Baltimore and I thought why not go to the lighting of the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon.  A lot of people don’t know this, but the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon is truly the original.  It was a great celebration last Thursday night – there was some live music going on while we were anxiously awaiting the infamous lighting/fireworks show.   Traffic around the Walters Art Museum was definitely a problem, but it was definitely worth it.

People of all ages braced the cold to be a part of the Baltmore tradition.  The lighting was scheduled for 7 PM, but it was more like 7:20.   I guess Baltimore works on their own time zone – Baltimore Standard Time (BST)…no?  LOL!  JK!  After much anticipation, the countdown began!  10-9-8…I was thinking oh my god it felt like a New Year’s eve countdown…7-6-5….the anticipation was building….4-3-2…I felt the excitement….1!!! 

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!  The monument was absolutely beautiful!  I never get tired of watching a lights display.  You know when you see garlands of lights everywhere that the holiday season is officially underweigh and everyone (well, almost everyone) gets in the holiday spirit!  Once the lights came on and everyone said their ooh and ahhs, the intense firework display began.  I was standing in front of the status in Mt. Vernon, so I was pretty close to the action…maybe a little too close!  I think I got a little startled since I was so close to the fireworks, but after that passed, I just took in the atmosphere and watched the great show.  The fireworks display went on for about ten minutes and once it ended, a lot of people headed back to their cars or stuck around the Mt. Vernon area. 

Mt. Vernon is a great area to check out – it’s near the Walters, great shops, and excellent restaurants!  Next time you’re in the mood to go into the city and debating between Fell’s and Canton, say no to both, and branch out and go to Mt. Vernon.  If you’re not too familiar, that’s OK, just visit this website:  http://www.mvcd.org/default.aspx.  In no time, you’ll go from a novice to a Mt. Vernon expert!

Well Baltimoreans, that’ s all for now…..

This is Ankur…

Signing off…